Regression Analysis of Country Effects Using Multilevel Data: A Cautionary Tale

81 Pages Posted: 7 Sep 2013

See all articles by Mark L. Bryan

Mark L. Bryan

University of Essex - Institute for Social and Economic Research (ISER)

Stephen P. Jenkins

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Department of Social Policy and Administration; Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA); University of Essex - Institute for Social and Economic Research (ISER)

Abstract

Cross-national differences in outcomes are often analysed using regression analysis of multilevel country datasets, examples of which include the ECHP, ESS, EU-SILC, EVS, ISSP, and SHARE. We review the regression methods applicable to this data structure, pointing out problems with the assessment of country-level factors that appear not to be widely appreciated, and illustrate our arguments using Monte-Carlo simulations and analysis of women's employment probabilities and work hours using EU SILC data. With large sample sizes of individuals within each country but a small number of countries, analysts can reliably estimate individual-level effects within each country but estimates of parameters summarising country effects are likely to be unreliable. Multilevel (hierarchical) modelling methods are commonly used in this context but they are no panacea.

Keywords: multilevel modelling, cross-national comparisons, country effects

JEL Classification: C52, C81, O57

Suggested Citation

Bryan, Mark L. and Jenkins, Stephen P., Regression Analysis of Country Effects Using Multilevel Data: A Cautionary Tale. IZA Discussion Paper No. 7583, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2322088

Mark L. Bryan (Contact Author)

University of Essex - Institute for Social and Economic Research (ISER) ( email )

Wivenhoe Park
Colchester CO4 3SQ
United Kingdom
+44 1206 874683 (Phone)
+44 1206 873151 (Fax)

Stephen P. Jenkins

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Department of Social Policy and Administration ( email )

Houghton Street
London, England WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

University of Essex - Institute for Social and Economic Research (ISER) ( email )

Wivenhoe Park
Colchester CO4 3SQ
United Kingdom
+44 120 687 3374 (Phone)
+44 120 687 3151 (Fax)

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Downloads
227
Abstract Views
907
rank
147,377
PlumX Metrics